The questing knight, the conquering overlord, the kings champion, the elite foot soldier, the hardened mercenary, and the bandit king - all are fighters. Fighters can be stalwart defenders of those in need, cruel marauders, or gutsy adventurers. Some are among the land's best souls, willing to face death for the greater good. Others are among the worst, those who have no qualms about killing for private gain, or even for sport. Fighters who are not actively adventuring may be soldiers, guards, bodyguards, champions, or criminal enforcers. An adventuring fighter might call himself a warrior, a mercenary a thug, or simply an adventurer.

Adventures: Most fighters see adventures, raids, and dangerous missions as their job. Some have patrons who pay them regularly. Others prefer to live like prospectors, taking great risks in hopes of the big haul. Some fighters are more civic-minded and use their combat skills to protect those in danger who cannot defend themselves. Whatever their initial motivations, however, fighters often wind up living for the thrill of combat and adventure.

Characteristics: of all classes, fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities (hence the name). Fighters are familiar with all the standard weapons and armors. In addition to general fighting prowess, each fighter develops particular specialties of his or her own. A given fighter may be especially capable with certain weapons, another trained to execute specific fancy maneuvers. As fighters gain experience, they get more opportunities to develop their fighting skills. Thanks to their focus on combat maneuvers, they can master the most difficult ones relatively quickly

Alignment: Fighters may be of any alignment. Good fighters are often crusading types who seek out and fight evil. Lawful fighters may be champions who protect the land and its people. Chaotic fighters may be wandering mercenaries. Evil fighters tend to be bullies and petty villains who simply take what they want by brute force.

Religion: Fighters often worship Heironeous, god of valor; Kord, god of strength; St. Cuthbert, god of retribution; Hextor, god of tyranny; or Erythnul, god of slaughter. A fighter may style himself as a crusader in the service of his god, or he may just want someone to pray to before putting his life on the line yet another time.

Background: Fighters come to their profession in many ways. Most have had formal training in a noble's army or at least in the local militia. Some have trained in formal academies. Others are self-taught - unpolished but well tested. A fighter may have taken up the sword as a way to escape the limits of life on the farm, or he may be following a proud family tradition. Fighters share no special identity. They do not see themselves as a group or brotherhood. Those who hail from a particular academy mercenary company or lord's regiment, however, share a certain camaraderie.

Races: Human fighters are usually veterans of some military service, typically from more mundane parents. Dwarven fighters are commonly former members of the well-trained strike teams that protect the underground dwarven kingdoms. They are typically members of warrior families that can trace their lineages back for millennia, and they may have rivalries or alliances with other dwarven fighters depending on their lineages. Elven fighters are typically skilled with the longsword. They are proud of their ability at swordplay and eager to demonstrate or test it. Half-orc fighters are often self-taught outcasts who have achieved enough skill to earn recognition and something akin to respect. Gnome and halfling fighters usually stay in their own lands as part of the area militia rather than adventuring. Half-elves are rarely fighters, but they may take up swordplay in honor of the elven tradition.

Among the brutal humanoids, few can manage the discipline it takes to be a true fighter. The militaristic hobgoblins, however, produce quite a number of strong and skilled fighters.

Other Classes: The fighter excels in a straight fight, but he relies on others for magical support, healing, and scouting. On a team, it is his job to man the front lines, protect the other party members, and bring the tough opponents down. Fighters might not much understand the arcane ways of wizards or share the faith of clerics, but they recognize the value of teamwork.

Role: In most adventuring parties, the fighter serves as a melee combatant, charging into the fray while his comrades support him with spells, ranged attacks, and other effects. Fighters who favor ranged combat can prove very deadly, though without other melee support, they can find themselves in front-line combat more often than they might prefer.

Game Rule Information

Fighters have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Strength is especially important for fighters because it improves their melee attack and damage rolls. Constitution is important for giving fighters lots of hit points, which they'll need in their many battles. Dexterity is important for fighters who want to be good archers or who want access to certain Dexterity-oriented feats, but the heavy armor that fighters usually wear reduces the benefit of a very high Dexterity.

Alignment: Any

Class Skills

The fighter's class skills are Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Jump, Ride, and Swim.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The fighter is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons and all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields).

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, the fighter gets a bonus feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to humans. The fighter gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every two levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, etc.). These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats in Fighter feats. A fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. (See Feat Search for feats by category.)

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets every three levels (as per Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits). The fighter is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing those feats.

FighterHit Die: d10
1st+1+2+0+0Bonus feat
2nd+2+3+0+0Bonus feat
4th+4+4+1+1Bonus feat
6th+6/+1+5+2+2Bonus feat
8th+8/+3+6+2+2Bonus feat
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Bonus feat
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+4Bonus feat
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+4Bonus feat
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+5Bonus feat
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+6Bonus feat
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+6Bonus feat

In the Realms

Fighters are at home in nearly every society of Faerûn. While they are often overlooked for praise because their skills are so common, great leaders such as Randal Morn, Bruenor Battlehammer, and the late King Azoun IV of Cormyr are very skilled warriors with reputations greater than the reach of their swords. Of course, many have risen to infamy on their fighting skills, such as Gondegal the Lost King, or the notorious assassin Artemis Entreri.

Some countries have famous military or knightly orders. Cormyr is well known for its army, called the Purple Dragons. Tethyr has several knightly orders, the most accessible being the Champions Vigilant (worshiping Helm) and the Knights Kuldar of Barakmordin (worshiping the Triad of Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr).

Preferred Character Regions: Every part of Faerûn produces capable warriors, but the lands of Aglarond, Amn, Anauroch, Calimshan, Chessenta, Cormyr, the Dalelands, Damara, the Dragon Coast, Evermeet, Luiren, the Hordelands, Impiltur, the Lake of Steam, Lantan, the Moonsea, the Moonshaes, Murhorand, Narfell, Nelanther Isles, the North, Rashemen, Sembia, the Shaar, Tashalar, Tethyr, Thay, Unther, the Vast, the Vilhon Reach, Waterdeep, and the Western Heartlands are renowned for their fighters. In addition, gray dwarves, gold dwarves, shield dwarves, drow, moon elves, deep gnomes, rock gnomes, lightfoot halflings, and strongheart halflings encourage the fighter class.

Epic Fighter

The epic fighter is a combat machine, a master of more battle maneuvers than any other character in the game. More than a mere sword-swinger, the epic fighter knows how to best his opponents in any arena.

Hit Die: d10.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Bonus Feats: The epic fighter gains a bonus feat every two levels higher than 20th (22nd, 24th, 26th, and so on).

Planar Substitution Levels

Planar travelers often have some fighting skill. Those devoting a substantial amount of time and effort to the pursuit of planar puissance gain additional powers and tactics useful against planar foes.


To take a fighter planar substitution level, a character must be about to take his 4th, 8th, or 12th level of fighter.

Class Skills

Fighter planar substitution levels have the class skills of the standard fighter class plus Knowledge (the planes). Skill Points at Each level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the fighter's planar substitution levels.

Planar Study (Ex): At 4th level, a planar fighter learns the secrets of combating foes encountered on the planes. He gains a +2 bonus on all weapon damage rolls against elementals, outsiders, and creatures that would have the extraplanar subtype while on the Material Plane (such as a fiendish dire wolf).

This benefit replaces the bonus feat gained by a standard fighter at 4th level.

Align Puissance (Su): Once per day, for a number of rounds equal to his fighter class level, a planar fighter of 8th level or higher can use a standard action to align himself so that any weapon he wields is aligned good, evil, lawful, or chaotic, as he chooses. A weapon that is aligned can overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures, usually outsiders of the opposite alignment.

This ability has no effect on a weapon that already has an alignment, such as a holy sword. It affects all other weapons wielded by the fighter, but not his unarmed strikes or natural weapons. The ability comes from the fighter, not the weapon, so if he subsequently gives away or loses the weapon, it does not remain aligned. Likewise, while the fighter is under the effect of this ability any weapon he picks up acts as if aligned in the manner he activated.

This benefit replaces the bonus feat gained by a standard fighter at 8th level.

Aura of Stability (Su): As a standard action, a planar fighter of 12th level or higher can activate a dimensional anchor effect on himself with a duration of a number of rounds equal to his class level. In addition, anyone with whom he is grappling is likewise affected by the dimensional anchor ability while they are grappling. Spell resistance applies, and the caster level of the ability equals the fighter's class level.

This benefit replaces the bonus feat gained by a standard fighter at 12th level.

Fighter Planar Substitution Levels
4th+4+4+1+1Planar study
8th+8/+3+6+2+2Align puissance
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+4Aura of stability

Aquatic Variation

Fighters in a seafaring setting are as likely to be marines (shipborne combat specialist) as sailors (characters expert in handling a ship). Their chief role is to board and occupy enemy vessels, especially pirate ships - if they aren't pirates themselves - and to defend their own ship against all attacks. These fighters specialize in agile, lightly armored combat (which is well suited to a ship's deck, since heavy armor is a death trap if you're knocked overboard). Nautical fighters often use rapiers and daggers in hand-to-hand fighting and exploit the rigging of ships to maneuver in combat. Fighters also guard mercantile riverboats; some are themselves tough skippers of their own craft.

Among aquatic peoples, fighters serve the same roles as they would on land: soldiers, city guards, private bodyguards, and so on. Since many familiar weapons are of little use underwater, such characters rely mainly on piercing weapons or aquatic crossbows. Hand-to-hand (or fin) combat is also popular for underwater fighting: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, and Improved Natural Attack are common feat choices. Armor is not favored underwater, since even light armor can interfere with movement; magical protection from rings and bracers (not to mention devices that boost Dexterity) is much more common.

Source: Player's Handbook

Alternative Class Feature: Dungeon Crasher (Dungeonscape)

Survival in a dungeon requires more than skill at arms and a stout shield. Traps, hazards, falling portcullises, and other threats can pose as much danger as an enraged troll. But you cannot help your impetuous nature. When others might move ahead cautiously and search for traps and other hidden dangers, you charge forward, ignoring the traps you set off and splintering doors and obstacles.

Level: 2nd.

Replaces: If you select this alternative class feature, you do not gain the fighter bonus feats at 2nd level and at 6th level.

Benefit: You excel at overwhelming traps, smashing through doors, and pushing aside your enemies. At 2nd level, you gain a +2 competence bonus on saves and to your Armor Class when attacked by traps. You also gain a +5 bonus on Strength checks to break a door, wall, or similar obstacle.

In addition, you gain a special benefit when making a bull rush. If you force an opponent to move into a wall or other solid object, he stops as normal. However, your momentum crushes him against it, dealing an amount of bludgeoning damage equal to 4d6 points + twice your Strength bonus (if any).

At 6th level, the bonuses when dealing with traps increase to +4, and the bonus on Strength checks to break objects increases to +10. The damage you deal when bull rushing an opponent into a wall increases to 8d6 points + three times your Strength bonus.